There is no other resort in the world as hyped as Whistler, and luckily this place thoroughly deserves its reputation. However, it is not without a few faults.
Whistler village (population 10,000) is nestled in the temperate Coastal Mountains just 75 miles (or a two and a half hour drive) north of Vancouver, British Columbia. The resort, which spans two separate mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, is legendary in snowboarding circles for its consistently heavy Pacific Ocean powder dumps and moderate temperatures. The season is always at least five months long, from November to May, thanks to the resort’s phenomenal snowmaking capability. And if that’s not enough, mountaintop glacier summer freestyle riding is available every June and July.
Consistently voted the 'No. 1 Ski Resort in North America'’ in a wide variety of different surveys, Whistler is a must for everyone’s bucket list due to its sheer size. It’s got 8, 171 skiable acres, 200+ runs, and 37 lifts spread across the two mountains, which were recently connected by the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola. The diversity of terrain and consistent, deep powder conditions are the stuff dreams are made of. In fact you might need to bring a snorkel, because Whistler's snowfall record is incredible; last season they recevied 13.89 m, and the 2010/11 season hit 15.79m - which was just shy of it's all time record of 16.93m back in 1998/99. Put simply, this is pow heaven!
Its two main faults are lift pass prices and the huge numbers that visit this place, especially at weekends. A lift pass for a week will cost you over £300, and the lift system creaks under the strain of the mass of tourists and weekend Vancouverites. It is not uncommon to find queues at the bases of an hour during holiday periods, but once you're up things do begin to settle down.
Did you know?
British surveyors originally christened the peak 'London Mountain' because of the heavy fog and cloud that regularly obscured it. The name 'Whistler' was a nickname that came from the distinctive call of the local marmot.